Article on Nurturing Entrepreneurship in Tripura, published in TripuraInfo

TRIPURAINFO

Nurturing Entrepreneurship in Tripura

Dr. Manishankar Chakraborty

Senior Teaching and Learning Expert based in the Middle-East

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Skilling is the buzzword, but entrepreneurial touch is missing

Skilling is the buzzword across the country, and it resonates in every nook and corner of India, including Tripura. New departments are being set-up, officials are being hired, and retired bureaucrats are being called back with plum positions to man such departments, which were never given such a thrust as an independent brand. The moot question, however, remains, how many programs floated around are able to actually place their graduate students successfully from a sustainable perspective, where the aspirants can not only take care of his or her livelihood, but also get a career roadmap, that is enticing and stimulating for growth. The emphasis of such programs being employment oriented, little does they realize that the need of the hour calls for more of job providers, rather than job seekers. Opines, Sushanta, an employee of the state central university having a small family business, “Business for us was always a second option and an earning buffer as we felt job provides a more assured income”. His statement is indeed shocking to say the least when he hails from a community known for established business and that too, after having a MSME! It is these mental blockade this is acting as a major barrier in making the state realize its latent entrepreneurial abilities.The existing employment opportunities are inadequate for a burgeoning youth population of the country and even the state of Tripura in particular. It is therefore imperative for the skilling programs to develop a sense of entrepreneurial mindset, amongst the trainees, rather than churning out skilled graduates only with a myopic employment focused attitude.

Entrepreneurship is more of a culture

It is indeed a challenge for the state to metamorphose into a hub of entrepreneurship, overnight, as there are many issues plaguing for a long time that needs to be addressed. Some of these issues, although seems to be insurmountable, they are still manageable, while the rest has more of making the necessary alterations in the mindset of the citizens of the state. The geographical disadvantage for inviting investors to come and start their businesses is understandable, however, with the train connectivity coming to the state, in addition to the Bangladesh route and the proposed South East Asia corridor, things are looking quite bright in the future. The mental overhaul that needs to be done in fact looks a bigger challenge, as Tripuraites have often been service holders, whereby, the parents limit their wards dreams and aspirations for a plush job in the public sector or one having mouthwatering remunerations in the private sector. Seldom do the parents emphasize on business as a career option right from the childhood, till the completion of higher education, unless of course they belong to a certain family, community or having chain of businesses with no heir apparent. Even a random survey would reveal that the service holder’s mindset prevails more in Tripura, rather than an entrepreneurial one. Reasons are not difficult to find with limited business opportunities available to a first generation entrepreneur, in addition to the uncertainty attached to career, which at times also impacts match making negatively. The teaching too does not provide the required momentum, so as to think out of the box that would culminate in starting novel businesses in the state, which could not have been dreamt about elsewhere. Radical changes are essential to bring in an entrepreneurial mindset resulting in Tripura becoming a hub of entrepreneurship. The questions to be answered is how (mentioned below), when (now) and who would bell the cat (all the stakeholders in a concerted manner)?

Proposed steps for encouraging Entrepreneurship in Tripura

It is indeed a challenge for the state to metamorphose into a hub of entrepreneurship, overnight, as there are many issues plaguing for a long time that needs to be addressed. Some of these issues, although seems to be insurmountable, they are still manageable, while the rest has more of making the necessary alterations in the mindset of the citizens of the state. The geographical disadvantage for inviting investors to come and start their businesses is understandable, however, with the train connectivity coming to the state, in addition to the Bangladesh route and the proposed South East Asia corridor, things are looking quite bright in the future. The mental overhaul that needs to be done in fact looks a bigger challenge, as Tripuraites have often been service holders, whereby, the parents limit their wards dreams and aspirations for a plush job in the public sector or one having mouthwatering remunerations in the private sector. Seldom do the parents emphasize on business as a career option right from the childhood, till the completion of higher education, unless of course they belong to a certain family, community or having chain of businesses with no heir apparent. Even a random survey would reveal that the service holder’s mindset prevails more in Tripura, rather than an entrepreneurial one. Reasons are not difficult to find with limited business opportunities available to a first generation entrepreneur, in addition to the uncertainty attached to career, which at times also impacts match making negatively. The teaching too does not provide the required momentum, so as to think out of the box that would culminate in starting novel businesses in the state, which could not have been dreamt about elsewhere. Radical changes are essential to bring in an entrepreneurial mindset resulting in Tripura becoming a hub of entrepreneurship. The questions to be answered is how (mentioned below), when (now) and who would bell the cat (all the stakeholders in a concerted manner)?

Proposed steps for encouraging Entrepreneurship in Tripura

There is a need for a coordinated effort on the part of various stakeholders, if Tripura is willing to make the much needed difference in the entrepreneurial landscape of the country and few of the proposed steps are listed below-

(1)Government should initiate incubators that would ensure setting up of organizations right from the ideation stage. There is also a need for a state body that is less on paper and more on action with tangible results on entrepreneurship.

(2)Primary, secondary and tertiary level of education should have a phase-wise, integrated curriculum of entrepreneurship, and this should be included in all the discipline of study, so that entrepreneurship is not seen from a commerce standpoint. It would also bring to the fore entrepreneurs from different domains like Science, Engineering, Doctors, Arts graduates, etc.

(3)Leading business families should be invited to inculcate the business sense and culture existing within their families, to the state at large. Although, this would sound impractical, as they would not be willing to divulge their business philosophies and secrets to potential competitors, those business czars and tycoons of the state should be made to understand the overall benefit for all, if the state develops into an entrepreneurship hub.

(4)Self-help groups, cooperatives should be given focused result oriented training to implement viable business plans.

(5)MSME sector of the state should be provided with result oriented skilling cum entrepreneurship training programs, so that they change their mindsets from being job seekers to job providers.

(6)Collaborating with Pan Indian bodies responsible for grooming entrepreneurs should be done by the state government, private bodies and academic institutions. The best practices should then be customized for the state before being implemented to get more hands on entrepreneurs.

(7)Defined and time bound accountabilities should be given to all skilling, training and developmental heads of private and public institutions to groom successful entrepreneurs on an annual basis. Their past and present profile and positions should not be a certificate for manning these new positions.

(8)Business being the last or the lost option as a career choice should be removed from the resident’s mindset by rigorous career counseling programs, whereby, successful entrepreneurs of global and national fame lend credence to this thought.

(9)The state should strongly leverage the national and global Non Residential Tripuraites network, who are directly and indirectly related with entrepreneurship so asto provide various support.

Source- http://www.tripurainfo.com/tinfo/pgDetailSpecialAricle.aspx?WhatId=2789

Posted comments
Posted On Name e-mail Comments
05/02/2017 01:30:04 BIRJIT SINGHA birjitsingha@yahoo.com The way you described “Proposed steps for encouraging Entrepreneurship in Tripura” – is gonna really helpful for those who are seeking for this kind of business in future. Thanks for this wonderful article sir.
06/02/2017 10:04:55 Mitan Saha sahamitan10@gmail.com great article sir….
06/02/2017 14:43:10 Kripanu sinha kripanu@gmail.com Thanks for your valuable thoughts…
09/02/2017 13:22:59 Rakesh Roy roy.rakesh092@gmail.com #Very Valuable Thoughts Sir… #Keep Writing… #Thank You…
10/02/2017 12:04:08 Henry psd9_roy@yahoo.com “MSME sector of the state should be provided with result oriented skilling cum entrepreneurship training programs, so that they change their mindsets from being job seekers to job providers”- to add up “the government should take necessary actions and create opportunities to these sectors, so that they can participate and get benefited by government schemes simultaneously to benefit others.
10/02/2017 12:34:05 Aniruddha Das ruddh27@gmail.com ITS GREAT…
10/02/2017 12:53:48 animesh dev barma animeshdevbarma@gmail.com Its a good initiative thought, has to be implement with full focus for the benefit of every caste n creed without any corruption nature….a long way to go, to convert dream into reality…
13/02/2017 04:49:09 Micowber Debbarma debbarmamicowber@gmail.com To develop a commercial hub in Tripura This initiative is a good thought, Thank you sir……

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About manishankarscribbles

A management trainer, consultant and faculty with experiences in South Asia, Middle East and Australasia. I am also present in www.manishankarthetrainer.blogspot.com and www.twitter.com/manitwitts apart from https://manishankarscribbles.wordpress.com .
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